Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Corporate Internet

I’m watching CBS this morning, a discussion on Facebook going public.

In essence, Facebook looks to make money by becoming like television. We’re going to be the sheep led to the shearing by Quiznos, Walmart, Ford, GM, and the like. You like, they get your data.

Of course there are lots of those annoying little ads in the right hand column.

Yep your internet experience will not be brought to you by America’s corporations. And will they now begin to dictate how the site looks and how we’re supposed to use it? Will they manipulate with half truths, untruths and just general bull. You bet. I’m afraid it is as inevitable as the arrival of advertising on radio.

When radio first appeared and radically changed the way Americans got news and entertainment, there was resistance to putting advertisement on radio. It would cheapen the experience, potential advertisers thought, and therefore cheapen their business. That deference didn’t last long.

I never expected the Internet to behave like early radio and find advertisers hesitant about putting their brand on my favorite web sites. But the discussion of how companies are using and are planning on using Facebook was pretty scary.

So here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to click on any commercial enterprises. I won’t like Quiznos. I won’t like Walmart. I won’t like even Gibson guitars (which I do like).

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